By: Lev Gringauz (2012 and 2013 Teva Trek Camper)
Editor’s Note: Teva Trek is a 3-week program for campers entering 10th and 11th grade that combines Herzl Camp traditions with outdoor adventure. 7th and 8th grade campers can add a 1-week Teva Adventure option to their 3-week camp experience to get a taste of Teva. Click here for more about our Teva programs.
These days I find myself eating a lot of raw onions. I know, its strange, but ticks don’t like onions. Well, ticks don’t like to suck the blood from campers who eat lots of onions. I know that last sentence sounds like gibberish in the echoes of the Minnesotan fall weather, but what can I say? Once a Teva Trekker, always a Teva Trekker.
I don’t really know where to start in the list of “how Teva Trek changed me”. I used to be a shy kid with stage fright (even though I was in theatre), afraid of heights, not confident in my ability to play guitar or sing, and deathly scared of ticks (though I would never admit it). Now, I have jumped off of a thirty foot pole (twice!), played in song session, played in the shabbat caravan, was the rosh shirah for Teva over the 2012 and 2013 trips, and now I miss the quiet moment of the day when I would pull out at least one tick.
Life used to be kind of boring before Teva, not in the bad way, just not interesting. Too much school and drama and stuff. And now its all completely different. Every morning I wake up and tell myself “today is the best day ever”, which is something my PD’s and councelors would tell me every day of the Montana trip. And even though some days are rough, I try to stay in a good mood with memories of Herzl as a trekker. I find myself thinking that if I can hike 11 miles on rocky ground around lake Superior (2012 apostle islands trip) I can get through another AP Statistics lecture. That sure you might be soaking wet, smelly, tired, wanting a warm bed in a house, tired of bugs and travel, but its only as bad as you make it. Life goes on, and you can’t be moping on the fact that a shower would be great while missing sunset on Superior or hiking through a slot canyon. Then nothing is fun.
Shabbat Caravan…in Montana
There is something strange about Teva that I will never understand: my love and appreciation of Herzl is without bounds. This is true for most, if not all Teva Trekkers. Something about the month with a small group of people doing unique and strange things and truly bonding makes everyone care more about camp. It is a truly a personal experience, to be part of a group but just as valuable as an individual. It makes me understand group dynamics better, and be a better leader. It makes me see more in people, respect the universe and life and love more. To me, Teva is ultimate living, and living is one of those good addictive things.